Artist Has Self-Portrait Painting Approved as Drivers License Photograph


Check out this portrait photograph of Swedish artist Fredrik Saker. It’s actually a self-portrait that Saker painted by hand. While we’ve seen and shared photo-realistic drawings before, Saker’s came up with a clever way of validating his photo’s realism: he managed to have it approved as his drivers license photo.

The whole thing started when the 29-year-old artist was asked to renew his drivers license. Wanting to prove that his highly-detailed drawings can pass as photos, he decided to submit a self-portrait as his photograph.

He spent 100 hours drawing the picture and making sure every tiny aspect matched real life as accurately as possible. Once it was finished, he took a photograph of the painting and submitted it to the Swedish Transport Board.

Weeks later, Saker was pleased to receive a license with his painting used as the photo.

After the story became widespread, a spokesman for the Swedish Transport Board told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter: “We have examined the original documents and compared them with his previous driving licence. The picture we have received looks like any other photo, so we have had no reason to question it.”

(via BBC)

Thanks for sending in the tip, Sam!

  • Thewirehead

    Very cool, though 4+ days of drawing for a drivers license photo? Thats a lot of effort when he could’ve just taken a photo. I wish in the US that they would let you submit a photo, because no matter how good you think it will look it’s crap when the person at the office takes it.

  • Furunomoe

    In the other news, a lot of people try to make their photograph to looks like a painting.

  • SomeDoubted

    Whilst I appreciate the incredible technical skill in photo realistic drawing and this is quite a clever way of validating the skill, I fail to see the point, surely art is about expression and what your style brings to a piece.

  • Bua

    Could someone post his address? Already have the signature, DOB etc and photo. So fake an identity….

  • cyberbully

    I like that his middle name is

  • Minx

    Teehee, Danger is his middle name ;)

  • Oskar?

    Nice idea and project and I really appreciate it, because it brings new questions on the drawing/painting/photography relationship. But he fails when he takes a photograph of the drawing. So, finally what he submits is a PHOTOGRAPH but not a drawing. The photograph is transforming the drawing in many aspects: it scales the drawing down(well, we are not told what was the drawing size) etc. I would fully appreciated if he sent a DRAWING but not a photograph of it.

  • Hans Stålhandske

    You have to send in a photo that is 35×45 mm. So handpainting a portrait so small would be extremly diffucult, almost impossible to get the same accuracy with a brush.

  • Hans Stålhandske

    In Sweden all the birthdates and addresses are public so go ahead…

  • Ambjörn Gholen Thorhard

    The number at 5 is Sweden’s social security number. Remove it would you please, as it tells swedes not only who he is, but also gives a LOT of credit information and could be used to hijack his identity.

  • Bjorn

    His last name is Säker, which means safe.

  • muddyclouds

    Correct, that is an open goal for any malicious person out there. Identity theft is a growing issue. I think Fredrik should have blurred this information out before posting if he suspected it would go this viral. But that doesn’t mean re-posting sights can’t show some good will and address the issue if pointed to it, petapixel?

  • Michael Zhang

    Blurred. Thanks guys

  • Chris Newhall

    That would mean that any art that someone scans and uploads to, say, DeviantArt is no longer a drawing/painting/etc.

  • Bonnie Jean Bloom

    nope. One time DMV Lady said to me, “Oh, honey. We’re going to go ahead and re-do this one.” And she did. And it was much better.

  • Neoracer Xox

    Whats the point!?!?!??

  • ByteMarx Livedaughtcom

    Congrats to the tards at petapixel that published this guys’ details on the Internet.

  • Peter Neill

    Thats like saying someone should use a helicopter instead of climbing a mountain..